Want work-life integration with motherhood- Set boundaries!

Author: Ema Rohinee

I worked as a manager at an agency and was always busy trying to keep up with my workload. Despite a remote job and my best efforts, I struggled to balance my work, motherhood and personal life.

Last year, on my daughter’s birthday, I promised her that I would finish work early to celebrate her special day, but as the day progressed, I became overwhelmed with work. Meetings took longer than anticipated, and I was inundated with emails and phone calls.

I became increasingly concerned as the birthday party approached. I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish work on time, and I could already feel the disappointment in my daughter’s eyes.

The party was over when I finally shut down my laptop, and I won’t go into details about what happened next.

I felt guilty and disappointed in myself for not giving my daughter the attention and time she deserved on her special day. That night, all I could think about was how different the day would have gone if I had better integrated my work and personal life. I decided to make a change the next day.

Let’s face it: juggling work and personal life as a mother can be a circus act. It’s like juggling a laptop, a baby, and a load of laundry.

One thing that can help make this balancing act a little less stressful- Setting Boundaries

We are the masters of work-life balance, juggling the demands of our jobs with the needs of our families while also attempting to find time for ourselves.

To begin, it is necessary to establish specific times for when work begins and ends. “I’ll just check one more email before bed,” is no longer an option. It’s time to put down the laptop and read a bedtime story to your children or simply talk about your day with your family.

It also means limiting the amount of time spent on work-related tasks outside of work hours. There will be no more answering emails during family dinners or taking business calls during playtime or on weekends. The kids are unable to compete with the office, and that’s just not fair.

Another important aspect of setting boundaries is learning to say no. Sure, taking on an extra project at work is tempting, but do you really have the time?

Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, announced her resignation, citing that she doesn’t have enough “in the tank.”

In her speech, she told her new-born that her mother is excited to be there when she starts school this year.

While putting our careers on hold in order to balance work and life is not ideal, saying no is essential. Be truthful to yourself and your employer. They might surprise you with how accommodating they are.

The most important constraint, however, is limiting technology’s constant availability. I know it’s easier said than done, but there will be no more scrolling through social media during a rare moment of silence. It’s time to unplug and enjoy the present moment, even if only for a few minutes.

Working mothers are not alone in this struggle, setting boundaries is important for everyone because everyone needs some ‘Me Time’. But as working mothers, we have to be extra cautious as we are doing so not only for ourselves, but also for our children. It’s important to remember that setting boundaries is not a one-time fix, it’s a continuous journey that requires ongoing efforts to maintain the balance between work and personal life, and to take care of our mental and physical well-being.

So, if you’re feeling like you’re about to lose your mind trying to balance it all, remember to set some boundaries. It might not make the circus entertaining, but a bit less chaotic.

“The author is a business development professional with over a decade of experience in lead generation, digital marketing, account management and content writing.”